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Mothering › Groups ›  April 2012 DDC › Discussions › EC Support

EC Support

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I know someone else was asking if we had an EC support thread and I know we have at least one expert here (Aletheia!) and I've been wanting to get some more info/support for some time! If you're at all interested in or are trying out EC (Elimination Comminication/infant potty learning etc), let's talk! There is an EC thread on MDC but I think it will be really helpful to me at least to have info from those of you with babies the same age range as mine.

So...anyone trying out EC? Full time/part time? Questions? If you are partenered, is your DP supportive?

I have been using a cueing sound of 'pssssss' with Liana (she's 7.5 wks) every time I know she's peeing for weeks. She has a very identifiable (to me at least!!) pee face and pee sound. She doesn't like being wet at all so she has typically been changed within moments of eliminating (we're CDing). She also has been dry at night for at least 3 weeks, maybe longer (night for us is when we all go to sleep around 11 -me, DD1, Liana, and DH- until Liana first rouses anywhere from 6-9 am. She feeds within there but is doing so in a sleepwalking kind of way, and hasn't been peeing until she's actually awake and looking around). She, like my older daughter did, retains her poop for days (no worries, she's not constipated/uncomfortable/gassy) but seems to only poop in the midst of a feed...so I have absolutely NO ideas there for how to catch those!!

I decided to try holding her over a baby potty and cueing her with our sound today when she woke up (dry) and she went pee!!! Yay!!! DH held her up waaaaaay early on over a prefold and she peed and pooped that way and she has peed plenty at changing time but this was our first intentional EC try/catch.

I haven't read any books yet but have one on order, I've just read bits here and there off forums and blogs. I don't have any issues with the theory, I'm just not sure how effective I'm going to be at this if I have her in a CD all the time (and she gets cold when naked or we are often not home for hours at a time). I don't get any warning before she pees/poops, just the actual face/sound she makes *when* she goes...so the idea of anticipating them while trying to take care of my older child's needs is daunting.
post #2 of 41
This is great, thanks Rasa! Will be following along.

I haven't figured out any of DDs signs for peeing. Pooping is easier but lately she's been struggling a lot with farts and poops. I cue her when I see that she's working on something but the grunting, squirming and eventual freak out can go on for a long time, especially in the mornings. I've tried positioning her in different ways and cuing her for poops but she's often gotten so worked up that it seems counterproductive. What she seems to want and need in those moments is to nurse her way through the discomfort till she goes - so like you I have no idea how we'd catch that, especially since we are feeding against gravity to try to cope with overacting letdown issues.

I'm trying to remember that it's about communication, not catches. Though I would love to cut down on diapers!!
post #3 of 41

Thanks for the thread! I have been interested in EC since I heard about it from other cultures years and years ago, but had no idea what to actually do. Only now do I know families doing it (EVERYONE here ECs) but I agree that it will be helpful to work on it together here smile.gif

post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 
Yes lala, thanks for the gentle reminder about it being about the communication and not the catches...I could see myself getting caught up trying to catch everything if I don't remember that ;-) I had never heard about EC when DD1 was little, I'm excited to see so many people I talk to aware of it now!

Jess, that's great you have a supportive practicing community at hand!! It will be great to hear/see what has worked well for others who've been there/done that!
post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 
Deleted for double post (sorry!)
post #6 of 41

EC really is wonderful!  But it is true that it can be hard to remain focused on the communication and responsiveness-- those catches are so much fun. 


Responsive cloth diapering-- especially if you can even notice when your child is eliminating- is a great approach to EC for this age.  I actually try to encourage that, esp for first-time parents.  Getting overwhelmed is *not* helpful to the EC relationship, and it can be easy to do that if you feel like you have to keep you baby naked all the time (I don't) or that all your friends and relatives think you are doing things really differently.  Just don't let that kid sit in a wet or soiled diaper, and do try to notice when they are going.  


As for eliminating while nursing-- this is very common, and it's not too hard to get used to EC'ing while nursing.  See here, which, incidentally, leads you to the newest "how to" resource for EC (and, I think, the best out of all available.)



If the bowl seems too tricky, just use a prefold spread over a waterproof pad on your lap.  Many babies dislike pooping so much because they dislike the sensation of it on their skin- give them a place to go, and you'll be surprised how quickly they learn to wait for their next poop opportunity (pees are not so easy.)


And that, by the way, is the little bit of info that most dads take away from the workshops and meetings I've run- that EC = fewer poopy diapers.  I've only encountered one baby since I began doing this 6 years ago whose pees were easier to catch than his poops.  But most babies quickly catch on to regular pottying when it comes to poops-- and add to that that most babies are easy to notice when beginning to poop, and well, it's just not that hard!

post #7 of 41

I'm so glad to have stumbled onto this today!  My daughter, Evening, is 3 months old and I decided to start EC three days ago.  We were/are cloth diapering because I hadn't heard of EC until a few weeks ago.  She usually grunts before everything (including burps) so I have been able to catch most of her pees and poops the past few days...and accidentally burp her on the potty too (blush, blush). 


Then today everything just went wrong, I am feeling so out of sync with her!  I caught a few, but got peed on three times which she found to be very upsetting.  Maybe I just had beginner's luck before, but has anyone else experienced a sudden off day when everything seemed to be going smoothly?  If it was just a mess I wouldn't mind but after a few days of being cool and clean Evening seems to be really distressed with it all. 

post #8 of 41
Savian is 2.5 weeks now and we are doing good on calm days-catching all poops and some pees. It was actually easier to catch the poops earlier on because he would grunt a bit before and if he was nursing pop off the boob. Now he has turned into a major grunter. He grunts all the time! Hungry, happy, dreaming, you name it.

I just always try and potty him when there is a change in activity-waking up, popping off the boob, getting out of his rocker. I have a hard time catching his waking pee. I don't know if peeing wakes him but by the time he starts to rouse he has already gone. The only time I can catch it is if I wake him up.
post #9 of 41

I'm doing very part time EC with Tavian and it's already working..with him. Not so much on the catches, though we've had a few. He now LIKES sitting on the potty and I'm starting to be able to just know when he needs to go. Unfortunately today I'm not sitting him on there long enough, maybe a minute or two. Three times today he's pooped a bit in the time it's taken me to put the potty back on the ground (we use the changing table). When he needs to potty he starts fighting the air, which is super cute. I think if I keep this up he'll soon get more in the potty than the diaper.


The reason for doing this is so he's not scared of the sensation of pooping. DD is almost 3 and not potty trained because of that. Pooping on the potty has been an absolute nightmare. Also hoping him pottying will motivate her.

post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
"Responsive cloth diapering"--thanks, I hadn't thought of it that way but that's definitely how we roll. Even if I could stand to let her sit in her wet/dirty diaper (yuck) she can't at ALL so we change within moments if at all possible. In fact, that's really one of the only reasons she fusses and I feel so bad for that reason if I can't 'potty' her.

For the most part, we've been holding her over the sink or a little potty (her bum is so little I don't have anything I supportive I could sit her on without buying something) and the trick has been trying to support her gently. She's very likely to spit up if her abdomen gets scrunched up too much. She seems to really like hanging out like that (she's usually facing a mirror which is great for seeing her expression and when she starts to pee and it seems like she has started noticing the baby in the mirror and smiles at herself/me most of the time! Sometimes she'll go from happy to instant sad face/burst of crying, which we don't see normally so it wigs me out that she might be scared or in pain so I stop and lay her down right away. But then it usually seems like she gets MORE upset, almost like 'hey! Why'd you stop?' and then I get all confused/flustered wondering if I should offer again or not. She smiles or coos after peeing in the sink vs if we miss she let's out a sharp cry to have peed in her diaper (still no major poops but she's working on it!) so I do feel bad when I can't potty her.

I think my husband is getting a bit exasperated and doesn't feel like offering as much when he's around, he also doesn't seem to know her pee face/sound so it seems like she's way fussier with him and that's usually because he doesn't recognize her cues or that he missed them and that she's wet. I got EC Simplified primarily for the audiobook feature because he loves audiobooks so maybe once he listens to that, this will feel better to him. I would like him to get to a place where he can 'feel' her cues/needs for himself because I think otherwise he feels like he's just listening to my orders and the responsiveness element isn't there, it becomes a 'compliance with spouse' issue and then he fights against me trying to micromanage his parenting, kwim?
post #11 of 41
We have a bathroom right next to the changing area. I am usually ripping the diaper off while in transit to the br. I potty him over the sink but it usually gets everywhere. He doesn't know how to tell me is done yet or I don't know how to read him because he will often have another bm after I bring him to the changing area. No big deal but I keep a prefold in the br to keep under his butt as I carry him to the changing area. After I am done diapering I go back and clean up the mess, put the prefold back and wash my hands.
post #12 of 41

I hope you all don't mind me joining this thread... I have a 2yo DS and another due around Halloween this year, but I thought I might offer a piece of advice on pooping with an infant.  When DS was just a newbie we would hold him so that his body rested against our chests and our hands were under his thighs.  We pulled his legs up a little so he was in a kind of relaxed fetal position resting  with his head against us whenever we thought he had to poop.  He would sort of sink into it, and chill for a minute, then he would go ahead and poop.  The position seem to make it so he didn't have to struggle with anything (sometimes we thought he had to go , but he would just hang out there tooting galore!) and it was easy and comfy for us to hold him like that over anything -sink, toilet, prefold, potty, you name it!  It was also an easy transition to sitting on a potty since the positioning was so similar.  So, maybe this position could be helpful.  Or maybe there is another that would work really well with your LOs...


Good luck to you all!  It's such an adventure, and SOOOOO worth it!

post #13 of 41
I don't use that position yet because he seems to curl up too much. As he gets a little bigger I think it will work. The position he likes now is a modified cradle position where he is off to my side a bit, but free hanging, supported on his head, back and thighs.
post #14 of 41
Thread Starter 
Mama505, I had DH read your post because that's pretty much the position he has found that works well for him and baby has been pretty comfortable with him like that (he said it's cause he has a belly for baby to lean into, ha ha). I think as he gets more info and feedback, he's relaxing into the idea! Didn't hurt he found out a new friend whom he admires EC'd her child almost 10 hrs ago! I use pretty much the same position but sometimes also just wrap my arm around her chest, simultaneously securing her to mine and hold her heel out in front of her. She naturally keeps her legs in a horizontal squat (with knees out) and is small enough that I can support her and stabilize her head like that with the combo of my arm and body without her weight causing me to squish her. She's getting much more stable with her head now (8 weeks) which I think for me will help me hold her more by her thighs soon.
post #15 of 41

As important as it is to be attentive to signs they want to go, I think it is also important to look for signs that they don't.  Look for no.  It's just as powerful a communicative tool as yes, and far easier to establish, because you can help shape it.  Most babies will do one of two things, often both of them, when they don't want to potty: arch their back and/or push down on one or both legs.  I tend to always role baby out of classic position onto my left arm, so the right leg comes down first.  I at the same time say "all done" as that leg comes down.  Mo has already developed an awareness of this routine, as did his big brothers-- DH call their right legs their "flushing legs."  :)  Once you and your babe have established the "no," it can appear before babe even goes (though most definitely will appear after they have gone and are done.)  Sometimes a babe will do this and pee/poo upon returning to laying position.  Knowing that I recognized their "no,"  though, always makes me feel better about this turn of events.

post #16 of 41
I have some trouble with the "no" . Savian is a grunter extreme and so it is hard to know when he is working on something or just pissed. Madame with the legs and arching back. He tends to do them when working on a poop as I hold himina cradle position. Maybe I will try the classic position to see of he will like it now because I like the idea of the flushing leg. I assume we will eventually get it figured out
post #17 of 41

I am having a hard time getting started. Either I'm missing a cue or Emrys just doesn't give very clear signals, cuz even tho I think I'm paying attention, I never know until it's to late. He is 19 days old... do I need to give it more time, or be hyper vigilant? I have already been peed & pooped on more times than I care to admit, lol.

post #18 of 41

I'm finally coming back to this forum after a few weeks away, and I'm really glad to see this thread here.

We were planning to EC from the very start, but due to me being in bed for the first two weeks (healing a tear without stitches) and the general overwhelm of being first-time parents.  I noticed that Tasmyn tends to poop just after waking up for a sleep, so I tried holding her over the little potty a few times and had some great success. But that was more than a week ago. Since then it's been more difficult as I have to catch her just as she's waking up but before she starts crying for the boob, and I haven't had too much luck with the timing.

I have been trying to be more responsive with the cloth diapering, and she is starting to be a bit more fussy when she has a wet or dirty diaper so we try to change her straight away. If she happens to pee or poop in the middle of a change we of course make the pssssshh sound and tell her that we notice that she is peeing or pooping. 


For those who have done this before - when is it 'too late' to start ECing more consistently?  I feel like I want to wait with it a bit more, it's winter here and as much as I'd like to let her go bare bummed, it's just not very practical at this stage when she is still pooing quite often.

post #19 of 41

DiaperFreeBaby recognizes those over 6 months as "late starters."  Several indigenous cultures don't begin until 4 or 6 months.  And really, just keeping her sensitive to a wet dipe is "progress."  Take it easy.  :)  You didn't miss the bus, and you're doing it just right.  

post #20 of 41

We also tried to start right away and had a good start for the first few months.  Then we moved into a yurt (just in time for winter) with no running water (for washing cloth).  We reverted to disposables for a couple of months to our chagrin and the ECing was reserved for outings, strangely enough, since the potty in the yurt often had ice on it!  When DS was 9mos we moved again and resumed the ECing with almost immediate renewed success!  He's 2yo now and I am so glad we didn't give up even with all of the set backs.  I can't remember the last time we changed a diaper and he's about 99% potty independent.  Hang in there, it is hard in the beginning when you are both learning... but sooooooo worth it!

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